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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Keel Laying and Coin Placement Commences on the World’s First Discovery Yacht -- Scenic Eclipse

Scenic Cruises - Discovery Yacht - Scenic Eclipse to begin sailing in August 2018
Scenic Cruises - Discovery Yacht - Scenic Eclipse to begin sailing in August 2018

The keel laying and coin fixing ceremony of Scenic Eclipse, the world’s first Discovery Yacht, took place on April 28 -- marking the official start of the ship’s construction. In a well-attended ceremony at Uljanik Shipyard JSC in Pula, Croatia, Scenic founder and chairman, Glen Moroney, had the honor of placing an Australian coin beneath the keel – a right of passage for every new ship and one thought to bring good fortune to the crew and guests. Dignitaries looking on included Marinko Brgic, a member of the JSC management board, and Marko Moric, CEO Bureau Veritas, Croatia. Ship details and Keel Laying video can be found at or

The well-designed and hand-built Scenic Eclipse will embark on its inaugural sailing from Athens to Venice on August 31, 2018, before spending a year leading guests on a luxury exploration of Europe, the Mediterranean, North and South America, Antarctica, the Arctic and the Norwegian Fjords. The announcement of Scenic Eclipse 17 months ago caused considerable industry and consumer excitement as the design details and luxury focus surpassed anything built before or even planned. This has led to brisk sales of the 31 different 7- to 21-night itineraries offered in the 2018-2019 inaugural year.

 Upon completion, Scenic Eclipse will represent a new era in ultra-luxury ocean cruising. The “6-star” mega yacht offers unprecedented luxury and comfort for 228 passengers (200 in Antarctica), and features 114 all-verandah suites, from the generous 345ft² Verandah Suites to the to the truly luxurious 2,659ft² two-bedroom Penthouse Suite. Public spaces include a choice of 10 on board dining choices, a state-of-the-art theatre, 5,900 ft² Spa Sanctuary and numerous lounge and bar areas. Top notch service, including butler service for every guest, is accomplished with a near 1:1 guest-to-crew ratio.

The adventure opportunities are just as diverse: from helicopters to submarines to zodiacs, kayaks and scuba gear, guests will be able to fill their time between on board indulgences with off-board once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours’ Family of Brands has grown over its 30-year history to include award-winning, all-inclusive escorted tours that take participants to many of the world’s most fascinating destinations; two award-winning river cruise lines – Scenic and Emerald Waterways; and, in 2018, the world’s first Discovery Yacht – Scenic Eclipse. Emerald Waterways' seven Star Ships offer deluxe cruises in Europe, and the Mekong, while Scenic’s 15 Space Ships offer truly all-inclusive, five-star river cruises in the same destinations as well as the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Holland America Gets the OK for 9 Sailing to Cuba Starting December 2017

Holland America's Veendam to Sail 9 cruises to Cuba in Winter 2017 - 2018
Holland America's Veendam Approve to Sail to Cuba.

Holland America Line has received approval to begin sailing to Cuba from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, starting with the Dec. 22, 2017, 12-day holiday cruise aboard ms Veendam. Holland America Line becomes Carnival Corporation's third cruise line to be approved to sail to Cuba following the company's historic inaugural sailings to the island last year.

The addition of Veendam itineraries will help meet the growing demand for premium cruise experiences to Cuba. Nine seven-day itineraries will feature the capital city Havana, and three of these will add another Cuba call at Cienfuegos, known as the model of early 19th century urban planning in Cuba. The 12-day holiday cruise showcases both Cuban ports. Depending on the departure day, cruises include the Cuba ports, as well as a combination of Caribbean ports, including Amber Cove, Dominican Republic; Belize City, Belize; Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos; Key West, Florida; and Montego Bay, Jamaica.

“For many, travel is about seeking new places to explore and discovering meaningful new cultural opportunities, and Cuba is one of the most sought-after new destinations for many of our guests,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “We are excited to finally be able to include Cuba in our itineraries, and our guests and travel partners have been anxiously awaiting a premium cruise experience to this relatively undiscovered Caribbean treasure.”

As leaders in destination immersion and experiential travel, Holland America Line adds Cuba to its itineraries in order to provide guests with a thoughtful cultural exchange experience. Most itineraries include an extended call at Havana, allowing guests the time to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site and immerse themselves in a wide array of historical and cultural adventures. Additionally, a stop at Cienfuegos presents the opportunity for a special visit to Trinidad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Cuba’s province of Sancti Spíritus.

The series of Cuban cruises will debut with the Dec. 22, 2017, 12-day holiday sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale. In addition to the seven-day cruises, an 11-day spring cruise sails March 17, 2018, and also features the Cuban ports of Havana and Cienfuegos, as well as Key West, Cozumel, Montego Bay and Georgetown. The final seven-day Cuba sailing departs on April 18, 2018.

On board, the Cuba experience will be enhanced through the line’s Explorations Central, or EXC, program, featuring EXC Guides who will bring the destination to life through presentations and EXC Talks that will enable guests to deepen their understanding of the Caribbean’s largest island. Also enriching the Cuba experience for guests are EXC Port Maps created for the Cuban calls, EXC Encounters that will showcase the culture and history of Cuba to guests before they visit the ports, and much more. In addition, educational and cultural EXC Tours are being developed in and near Havana and Cienfuegos with a highlight being Trinidad, one of the best-preserved historic towns in the Caribbean.

Bookings for Holland America Line’s cruises to Cuba will open May 26, 2017. Guests booked on Veendam’s previous deployment will be given a full refund and opportunity to book on another Holland America Line voyage. Fares for Cuba cruises begin at $899 per person, double occupancy. Taxes, fees and port expenses are additional.

The visits to Havana and Cienfuegos comply with regulations of the U.S. Department of Treasury that permit travel operators to transport approved travelers to Cuba to engage in activities as defined by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Foreign Assets Control. All information about special requirements for travel to Cuba is available at

The deployment of the 1,350-guest Veendam to Cuba adds Holland America Line to the historic launch of cruises to the island nation from the U.S. by Carnival Corporation sister brands Fathom and, more recently, Carnival Cruise Line.

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Friday, May 26, 2017

Cunard Shares Images and Video of Aft Lido Deck Being Lifted onto Queen Victoria

Remodeling of Cunard Line's New Queen Victoria including rebuilding of the Stern Section at Italy's Fincantieri Shipyard.

Following Cunard’s recent announcement of plans for a $40 million refurbishment of Queen Victoria, the luxury cruise line reveals behind the scenes images and video of the stunning aft lido sun deck being lifted into place at the Fincantieri Shipyard in Palermo, Italy. The exquisite extended lounge space – only one of the many highlights amongst the new and refreshed on-board features - provides guests with additional deck space and unprecedented access to rays of light from sunrise to sunset. 

Queen Victoria was taken out of service on May 5 and is scheduled for completion on June 4, 2017. The newly refurbished ship will then return to Southampton before embarking on its maiden four night voyage, via Amsterdam and Bruges, before arriving back at Southampton. 

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Brand New Luxury Yacht Join the Katarina Line Fleet.

Katarina Line's Newest Addition - The Motor Yacht Moonlight.
Katarina Line's Newest Addition - The Motor Yacht Moonlight.
Carrying 36 passengers, MV MOONLIGHT began its cruise service in KATARINA LINE fleet last Saturday. Moonlight is the first among four newly built cruisers to start its journey under Katarina Line flag in season 2017, bringing modern design and premium comfort for which Katarina Line is known.

Dining Room On Board Katarina Line's Moonlight

This 37.4 meters long and 8.2 meters wide brand new cruiser is proudly made in Croatia offering accommodation in 18 spacious double cabins. The owners of this vessel are Filip & Martina Rakuljić, long time partners of Katarina Line as they introduced many passengers to Croatian coastline and islands on their traditional vessel Dalmatinka in the past.

In 2017, Katarina Line celebrates the 25th anniversary and among many celebration activities, having four maiden voyages really tops the successful beginning of this season.

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Holland America Opens Bookings for the Nieuw Statendam.

Holland America's New Nieuw Statendam to Debut in 2018 - On Sale Now!
Holland America's New Nieuw Statendam to Debut in 2018 - On Sale Now!

Bookings are open for the Premiere Voyage and 2018-19 inaugural Caribbean cruise season of Holland America Line’s ms Nieuw Statendam. Due for delivery Dec. 1, 2018, the second Pinnacle Class ship in the fleet currently is under construction at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Italy.
  When Nieuw Statendam departs the yard, it will be delivered in Venice, Italy, Dec. 1. After arriving at Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy, Nieuw Statendam departs Dec. 5 on its Premiere Voyage with guests — a 14-day transatlantic crossing to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The ship will then spend the winter season cruising roundtrip from the South Florida port on seven-day Caribbean itineraries, with select three-, four- and 10-day options.

“Every milestone we reach with Nieuw Statendam brings us closer to delivery, and opening for bookings in the inaugural season is an exciting step as we officially give guests the opportunity to start planning their vacations on this beautiful new ship,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “The crossing is a great chance for guests to really get to know the ship and explore every corner during the sea days, and the Caribbean season is a perfect blend of ports that highlight the beauty, diversity and relaxed ambiance of that region.”

Premiere Voyage Repositions to Caribbean Winter Home Port
When Nieuw Statendam departs Civitavecchia Dec. 5 on its Premiere Voyage, it will spend 14 days crossing the Atlantic Ocean to Fort Lauderdale. After leaving Italy, the ship will call at Cartagena and Málaga, Spain, and Funchal, Madeira, before spending seven days at sea where guests can experience all the newbuild’s amenities. Guests will enjoy an overnight call at Fort Lauderdale before leaving the ship Dec. 19.

Nieuw Statendam to Offer a Variety of Caribbean Cruises in Winter/Spring 2018-19
From December 2018 through April 2019, Nieuw Statendam will spend its inaugural season exploring the golden beaches and sun-kissed skies of the Caribbean on roundtrip Fort Lauderdale cruises. All Caribbean itineraries include a call at Half Moon Cay, the line’s award-winning private Bahamian island known for its pristine landscapes, exciting shore excursions, exclusive beach cabanas and child-friendly activities.

Nieuw Statendam’s first Caribbean cruise is a four-day itinerary that calls at Half Moon Cay and Key West, Florida, departing Dec. 19. The ship then embarks on a series of seven-day sailings, including a Dec. 23 Holiday cruise that calls at Amber Cove, Dominican Republic; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Half Moon Cay. A Dec. 30, 2018, New Year’s cruise departure calls at Half Moon Cay; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico. A similar Jan. 6 cruise replaces Ocho Rios with Montego Bay, Jamaica. The ship then sets sail Jan. 13 on a seven-day cruise to Nassau, Bahamas; San Juan, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay.

Guests looking for an extended Caribbean adventure on Nieuw Statendam can depart Jan. 20 on a 10-day cruise to the ABC Islands with calls at Half Moon Cay; Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos; Amber Cove, Dominican Republic; Kralendijk, Bonaire; Willemstad, Curaçao; and Oranjestad, Aruba.

For a quick get-away, a three-day cruise departs roundtrip Fort Lauderdale Jan. 30 and includes a call at Half Moon Cay, Bahamas.

For the remainder of the season, the ship will feature western and eastern Caribbean itineraries: the first calls at Half Moon Cay, Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, while the second features calls at Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay — with the March 17 departure swapping Amber Cove for Grand Turk.

Fares for the first Nieuw Statendam cruises begin at $499 per person, double occupancy, for a three- or four-day Caribbean sailing, and $799 for a seven-day cruise.  The Premiere Voyage begins at $1,199 per person, double occupancy. Taxes, fees and port expenses are additional.

About Nieuw Statendam
The 99,500-ton ship will reflect the ongoing evolution of the Holland America Line experience. While much of the ship’s design will be similar to ms Koningsdam, the first Pinnacle Class ship, Nieuw Statendam will carry 2,666 guests and have exclusive public spaces and its own style created by leading hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany and designer and architect Bjorn Storbraaten.
  Holland America Line’s first ship to be called Statendam sailed in 1898, and this will be the sixth ship in the company’s history to carry the name. In combining the Dutch word for “new” with the classic Statendam, Holland America Line is celebrating the company’s past, present and future.

Main Atrium Holland America's New Nieuw Statendam Coming in 2018
Main Atrium Holland America's New Nieuw Statendam Coming in 2018

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Viking Ocean Cruises Expected to Expand Fleet to 8 Ships by 2024.

Viking Ocean Cruises Announces Additional New Ships From Italy's Fincantieri Shipyard
Viking Ocean Cruises Announces Additional New Ships From Italy's Fincantieri Shipyard

When Viking Ocean Cruises introduced the 930-berth Viking Star in 2015, it was projected that the line could build up to six sister ships. With last month’s order from Fincantieri for two more ships plus an option to build another two, this could take the Viking Ocean fleet to ten ships by 2024. With this expansion , Viking Ocean cruises is expanding it destinations to the 4 corners of the world.

Viking who had its start with European River cruises expanded into deep sea cruising in 2015. Viking Ocean Cruises specializes in high-end, medium size ships offering a luxury experience.

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Royal Carbbean Announces 2018 Cruises from Miami Florida, Galverston Texas and New Orleans, Louisiana

Royal Caribbean Announces 2018 cruises from Galveston Texas Miami Florida and New Orleans Louisiana
Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas to Sail from Miami in 2018

After a three-year hiatus, Royal Caribbean International will return to the legendary city of New Orleans, Louisiana with the newly announced re-positioning of Vision of the Seas for the 2018-2019 winter season. The 915-foot cruise ship will sail 7-night itineraries to culture-rich destinations across the Bahamas and Yucatan Peninsula. Her 989-foot sister ship Enchantment of the Seas will move from Miami, Florida to join Liberty of the Seas in Galveston, Texas, offering 4- and 5-night Caribbean cruises that will complement Liberty’s popular 7-night Caribbean vacations. The two new offerings bring more options and easy access from the Gulf Coast for adventure-seekers in the region to embark on journeys to world-renowned dive destinations, explore ancient ruins of past civilizations, and discover the natural beauty of rain-forests.

                  Before re-positioning to its new home in “The Big Easy” on Dec. 15, 2018, Vision of the Seas will offer two, 16-night sailings through the Panama Canal from Miami to Los Angeles, California and from Los Angeles to New Orleans. This will be the first time in three years that Royal Caribbean will journey through this engineering marvel.

                  Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas also will embark on new adventures in 2018 when the longtime resident of Asia-Pacific returns to the United States to home-port in Miami.  Mariner will be the first Voyager-class ship – famous for introducing industry innovations including the rock-climbing wall, ice-skating rink and Royal Promenade – to offer short Caribbean sailings perfect for first-time cruise travelers. The 3- and 4-night itineraries from PortMiami to the Bahamas begin on June 21, 2018, following the ship’s extensive, 32-day revitalization. Prior to going into drydock and her arrival to Miami, Mariner will embark on a previously announced “Global Odyssey,” consisting of three 13- to 15-night sailings from Singapore to Dubai; Dubai to Barcelona; and Barcelona to Miami.

                  Enchantment of the Seas arrives to Galveston on June 23, 2018. Guests currently booked on Enchantment for sailings departing Miami after June 23 will be contacted individually to transition the original booking to the freshly revitalized Mariner of the Seas from her new home-port in Miami.

                  Sailings on-board Mariner of the Seas will be available to book on May 1, 2017, Enchantment of the Seas and Vision of the Seas will be available to book as of May 5.

                  Royal Caribbean International is an award-winning global cruise brand with a 48-year legacy of innovation and introducing industry “firsts” never before seen at sea. The cruise line features an expansive and unmatched array of features and amenities only found on Royal Caribbean, including jaw-dropping, Broadway-style entertainment and industry-acclaimed programming that appeals to families and adventurous vacationers alike. On-board, guests are catered to with the cruise line’s world-renowned friendly and engaging Gold Anchor Service by every staff and crew member. Royal Caribbean has been voted “Best Cruise Line Overall” for 14 consecutive years in the Travel Weekly Readers Choice Awards.

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Sky Makes Maiden Cuba Call.

Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Sky Makes Maiden Call at Havana Cuba/
Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Sky Makes Maiden Call at Havana Cuba/

Norwegian Sky, Norwegian Cruise Line’s first ship to sail to Cuba, made her maiden call in the capital city of Havana recently.  Norwegian Cruise Line executives were on-board to celebrate the voyage, including Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings President & CEO Frank Del Rio and Norwegian Cruise Line President & CEO Andy Stuart.  
            “Today is a momentous day for Norwegian Cruise Line, our guests and our travel agent partners, as we open our doors to Cuba’s natural beauty, warm people and historical treasures,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. “Sailing into the Havana Harbor today, we were welcomed by the Cuban people with open arms and excitement to share their incredible culture with our guests.”
“Our cruises to Cuba offer our guests a unique opportunity to engage in true cultural immersion with the freedom and flexibility to explore this destination on their own timetable and as they choose,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer for Norwegian Cruise Line. “We look forward to our guests experiencing the wonderful hospitality of the Cuban people aboard each of our many sailings to Cuba to come.”
Today’s call was the first of Norwegian Sky’s weekly round-trip cruises from Miami to Cuba.  The ship will sail a total of 53 four-day voyages to Cuba, with 52 including an overnight stay in the historical and culturally-rich capital of Havana.  Norwegian Sky will bring guests to the very heart of Havana, offering guests the opportunity to visit historical sites such as Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; view incredible art and listen to the vibrant local music scene; and visit with Cuba’s warm and friendly residents through people-to-people exchanges. Norwegian offers a selection of 14 half and full-day OFAC-compliant shore excursions, where guests aboard Norwegian Sky will have the opportunity to have a farm to table dining experience, explore the flora and fauna of Soroa, see modern Havana in an American classic car and much more. 
The all-inclusive Norwegian Sky will also call on Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian’s private island in the Bahamas, during her four-day cruises to Cuba.  Great Stirrup Cay is a private island paradise, with white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, watersports galore and lushly landscaped beachside cabanas available for daily rental for those who wish to have a more exclusive island experience. Great Stirrup Cay was recently enhanced to offer guests exciting new ways to enjoy the island with additional pathways, seating and shaded lounge areas, with additional features still to come, including a private luxury lagoon enclave for suite guests and guests of The Haven. 
Along with the freedom and flexibility that only Norwegian Cruise Line can provide, guests sailing on Norwegian Sky will also enjoy unlimited complimentary beverages as a part of the ship’s all-inclusive program.

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Friday, May 19, 2017

Carnival Cruise Lines' Announces a New Cruise Destination on Grand Bahama Island.

Carnival Cruises Ships Will Call At New Port Developed on East End of Grand Bahama Island.
Carnival Cruises Ships Will Call At New Port Developed on East End of Grand Bahama Island.

Officials from Carnival Cruise Line and the Bahamian government signed an agreement May 2, 2017 during a special signing ceremony in Freeport, Grand Bahama, for the construction of a new cruise port facility to be funded and operated by Carnival Cruise Line on Grand Bahama Island. The as-yet-unnamed planned port will be the largest purpose-built cruise facility ever constructed in The Bahamas and will take inspiration from the beauty of the Bahamian people and their islands. Features will include a one-mile stretch of beach, food, beverage and shopping outlets, a wide array of water-based amenities and other recreational facilities. The port will also feature a pier capable of accommodating two of Carnival’s largest cruise ships simultaneously and is expected to eventually host up to 1 million guests annually. 
The multi-million-dollar project will provide a significant economic benefit for the country of The Bahamas, including many employment and economic opportunities throughout the development, construction and ongoing operation once completed.
“Carnival Cruise Line is the leader in year-round cruising to The Bahamas and this new development will not only provide a truly extraordinary and one-of-a-kind destination experience for our guests but it will further solidify our partnership with the people of The Bahamas,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “In 2017, along with Carnival’s sister lines, Carnival Corporation will bring close to 3 million guests to The Bahamas via calls to Nassau, Freeport, Grand Bahama, Half Moon Cay and Princess Cays, the latter two of which were developed and are operated by Carnival Corporation brands Holland America Line and Princess Cruises.  Collectively, we represent the single largest cruise company investor in The Bahamas,” Duffy added. 
During the signing ceremony, Carnival Corporation President and CEO Arnold Donald said, “When Ted Arison, the founder of Carnival and the modern day cruise industry, embarked on his first cruise, it was to The Bahamas. From that day until now, The Bahamas continues to be one of the most strategic and important destinations for our company.” Donald continued, “Signing this agreement today is especially meaningful to me, as we strive to further contribute to the prosperity of the people of The Bahamas through providing experiences that continue to exceed our guests’ expectations.”
Prime Minister the Right Honorable Perry G. Christie stated, “The Government of The Bahamas has had a long and close association with Carnival which has been of great economic benefit to both parties.” He continued, “This new cruise port initiative in East Grand Bahama will deliver a cruise port in the traditional sense, but more than that, its shore project will create a new ‘destination’ with a distinctive flavor and characteristics that offer the broadest Bahamian entrepreneurial and employment opportunities, representing another phase in the development of Grand Bahama as a viable tourist center.”
The project is subject to a detailed public discussion process, environmental studies and permitting.

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

AIDA Cruises Helps to Celebrate The Port of Hamburg's 828th Anniversary.

AIDA Cruises Celebrates the Port of Hamburg 828th Anniversary and the One Year Anniversary of the AIDAprima - Courtesy of AIDA Cruises.
AIDA Cruises Celebrates the Port of Hamburg 828th Anniversary and the One Year Anniversary of the AIDAprima - Courtesy of AIDA Cruises.
On the occasion of the 828th HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY, AIDA Cruises presented a huge anniversary fireworks display yesterday evening - for the port and one year anniversary of AIDAprima. The ship was the focus of a spectacular music and light show that transformed the sky over the Elbe into a glittering sea of color. From May 5 to 7, 2017, more than a million people enjoyed Northern Germany’s largest maritime festival live in Hamburg, on television, or in social networks. Around 355,000 cruise fans watched the Prime Time Special live on AIDA channels on Saturday night.

On Saturday evening, AIDAprima left its docking spot at Cruise Center Steinwerder, passed by Hamburg’s waterfront and the Elbphilharmonie, and then took its exclusive position at Harbor Piers. The maneuver was accompanied by a crowd of visitors along the water singing a birthday serenade. At 10:30 p.m., the dazzling light show and 15-minute fireworks display followed. Shortly afterwards, AIDAprima departed from the port and headed for the North Sea. The Hanseatic City’s floating landmark has already set out from Hamburg 52 times for 7-day round-trip cruises to the most beautiful metropolises in Western Europe, including London, Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam.

As the grand finale on Sunday, May 7, 2017, AIDAluna will dock at Cruise Center Hafencity from 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and AIDAsol in Altona from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Visitors can admire both AIDA ships in a small launch parade in the evening.

With 82 stops by a total of six AIDA ships this year, AIDA Cruises is strongly present at Hamburg Port and continues to be an important economic factor for the Hanseatic City and a magnet for many natives of Hamburg and guests.

Next year’s celebrations for the HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY will include AIDAperla, sister ship of AIDAprima. Starting in March 2018, the Hanseatic City of Hamburg will be the departure and destination port for AIDAperla and its 7-day metropolis cruise. Model Lena Gercke will christen AIDA’s twelfth new ship in Palma de Majorca on June 30.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Royal Caribbean Announces 2018 Cuba Sailings.

Royal Caribbean's Empress of the Seas To Sail From Tampa to Cuba in 2018
Royal Caribbean's Empress of the Seas To Sail From Tampa to Cuba in 2018

The world's most adventurous cruise line is giving adventure-seekers more opportunities than ever to explore the vibrant island destination of Cuba with new sailings to Havana on Empress of the Seas.  Royal Caribbean International’s newly refreshed ship will sail 58 cruises of 4- and 5-night itineraries from January 2018 through March 2019, more than half offering overnight stays in the culturally vibrant city. Empress’ Western Caribbean and Havana sailings are open for bookings as of today. 

                 “Since arriving in Cuba for the first time last month, we’ve seen the excitement of our guests when sailing into Havana and the passion they have for the city at sail away – its people, its architecture, its food, its music. This is the enthusiasm we strive to bring to adventure-seekers who vacation with us,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International.  “The positive reaction to our Cuba sailings is very encouraging, and we are thrilled to expand on the number of sailings for our 2018-2019 itineraries.”

                 Empress of the Seas will return to Tampa for summer 2018, offering a series of 4- and 5-night cruises, calling on Key West, Florida, and Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico, as well as Havana, Cuba on most sailings. The ship will reposition to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for the winter 2018-2019 season, continuing short Caribbean adventures to the Caribbean destinations. Currently, Empress sails from Tampa through Nov. 4, 2017.  The ship then returns to Miami for the winter 2017-2018 season, adding calls to Royal Caribbean’s private island destination CocoCay and Nassau in The Bahamas.

                 The vibrant Cuban culture extends beyond land to the experience on board Empress of the Seas. From cortaditos and café con leche in Café Royal to salsa music and dancing in Boleros Latin lounge, guests can enjoy a range of onboard activities developed to bring the spirit of the island to life throughout the entire journey.

                 Empress of the Seas spans 11 guest decks, encompasses 48,563 gross registered tons, carries 1,602 guests at double occupancy and features 795 staterooms.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises' New Expedition Ship Hanseatic Construction Begins.

Artists Rendering of Hapag-Lloyd's New Exploration Ship Hanseatic.
Artists Rendering of Hapag-Lloyd's New Exploration Ship Hanseatic.

HANSEATIC nature: Construction begins with the first steel cut at the VARD shipyard

·         Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ first new-build expedition ship – 24-month construction phase begins
·         HANSEATIC nature to debut in April 2019

The first steel cut on May 9, 2017 marks the official start of the construction of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ first of two new-build expedition ships. At the VARD shipyard in Tulcea, Romania, Karl J. Pojer, CEO of the luxury cruise operator, gave the official start signal for the construction process of HANSEATIC nature. With the building of two, identical expedition ships, the company will expand its fleet and enhance its pioneering role in the expedition segment.

In an official ceremony Roger Vassdal, Senior Vice President for VARD’s operations in Romania, handed over a symbolic steel silhouette of HANSEATIC nature to the Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ board of directors.

“After an intense planning stage, we are very pleased to commence HANSEATIC nature’s construction process with the first steel cut. The segment of expedition cruises currently offers enormous potential and with two new additions to our fleet next to the very popular BREMEN, we are well positioned for the future” says Karl J. Pojer. The keel laying of HANSEATIC nature is scheduled for June 2017, the christening and maiden voyage for April 2019. The second ship, HANSEATIC inspiration, which will serve the international markets, will launch six month later in October 2019.

The new expedition ships, which will be positioned in the five-star-segment, are being built by Norwegian company VARD Group, which is a subsidiary of the Italian shipbuilding group Fincantieri. The ship hull will be constructed in the Romanian shipyard location of Tulcea and afterwards be towed to VARD Langsten in Norway, where the outfitting and  the finishing of the interior will take place. Both HANSEATIC nature and HANSEATIC inspiration will be fitted with cutting-edge equipment and environmental technology and will each accommodate up to 230 guests (or up to 199 guests on Antarctica cruises). PC6, the highest ice class for passenger ships, makes it possible to conduct expeditions far into Polar waters, with tropical destinations such as the South Seas and the Amazon. Sixteen on-board Zodiacs and E-Zodiacs with eco-friendly electric drive systems allow for landings in remote expedition areas, regardless of the vicinity to a port.

Episode 13: HANSEATIC nature - Steel cutting http://www.hl-cruises. com/social-media/experiencetv

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Monday, May 15, 2017

Disney Cruise Line to Sail From New York in 2018 With New Itineraries.

Disney Cruise Line's Disney Magic to Sail From New York in 2018 to Canada, Bermuda, Florida and Bahamas
Disney Cruise Line's Disney Magic to Sail From New York in 2018 to Canada, Bermuda, Florida and Bahamas

In the fall of 2018, Disney Cruise Line will sail on new itineraries and to new ports, including first-time visits to Bermuda and Quebec City, Canada – both with multiple days to experience these captivating destinations. In addition to the new itineraries from New York to Bermuda and Canada, three special sailings from New York will take guests to Walt Disney World and Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, Castaway Cay. 

These cruises on board the Disney Magic go on sale starting May 18.

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